How Big Data Could Transform Health Care

Thank goodness for Health Affairs. If, like me, you've sometimes wondered where regular data ends and big data begins, the latest issue, devoted to big data in health care, will help. (So does this Washington Post article, which can serve as a handy a guide to the Health Affairs issue.) After being slow to warm up to big data, the health care industry now can't move fast enough. Electronic health records are already making it easier for doctors to make clinical decisions and for health care-researchers to work in a much larger scale. Big data will also make it more feasible to reward providers for quality of care, as opposed to just volume. Beyond that, data may help providers predict who needs care and when -- similar to the way that shopping web sites can predict what you want to buy.

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Beth Umland
by Beth Umland

Director of Research, Health, Mercer

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